Q: What is Low Level Laser Therapy / Cold Laser Therapy?
A: LLLT is a non-invasive therapeutic treatment that utilizes state-of-the-art low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes to stimulate and alter cellular function.
Q: What ailments does Low Level Laser Therapy / Cold Laser Therapy treat?
A: LLLT has been indicated in the treatment of the following ailments:
- arthritis, including arthritis secondary to hip dysplasia
- intervertebral disc disease
- soft tissue injuries (muscle, tendon and ligament injuries)
- ear infections
Q: What are the benefits of Low Level Laser Therapy / Cold Lazer Therapy?
A: NSAIDs such as Rimadyl are used to reduce pain and inflammation in these conditions as well. However NSAIDs can have serious side effects; LLLT has no side effects when administered appropriately.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) improves tissue repair, and reduces pain and inflammation. Treatments take 15 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your pet and the problem your pet is experiencing.
LLLT is not painful or stressful to the pet; most dogs and cats relax during the treatment.
When cells are stressed, nitric oxide (NO) inhibits oxygen consumption by mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase. This reduces production of ATP and causes oxidative stress leading to increased inflammation. LLLT displaces NO from cytochrome c oxidase reducing inflammation and restoring ATP production helping tissues to heal more quickly.
Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is a medical therapy which originated in China more than 4000 years ago. The first veterinary acupuncture text books appeared around 250 BCE. Acupuncture is an important treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine along with nutritional therapy, herbal therapy, and lifestyle recommendations. Traditional Chinese Medicine attributes disease to imbalances in the body; acupuncture needles inserted appropriately can correct the imbalances thus healing disease.
Q: Is acupuncture painful?
A: Acupuncture needles may cause some mild discomfort on insertion. They do not seem to bother dogs and cats. They are significantly finer than needles used for drawing blood, which are also well tolerated in most veterinary patients. In my experience the needles hurt the patients’ owners far more than the patients! The needles often have a relaxing effect; many patients fall asleep during treatment.
Q: What conditions do acupuncture and herbal therapy treat?
A: Some conditions which can be ameliorated with acupuncture include:
- Inervertebral disc disease (slipped disc)
- Degenerative joint disease (arthritis of hip, knee, shoulder, spine etc.)
- Kidney disease
- Asthma and other respiratory diseases
- Immune disorders
- Some kinds of skin disease
- Diabetes, thyroid disease and some other endocrine disorders
- Some neurologic disease
- Gastrointestinal disease
Q: How often will my pet need to be treated with acupuncture?
A: That depends on your pet’s condition. For a chronic condition we will usually start with one or two sessions a week and then taper down as the condition improves. For an acute condition, often one or two treatments often suffice. A treatment can last from a few minutes up to thirty minutes depending on the condition. Often your pet’s problems have developed over a period of time, the return to health also takes time; commitment and patience are critical.
Q: Will I stop my pet’s conventional treatment once he has started acupuncture, herbs or nutritional therapy?
A: That depends on your pet’s illness and current treatment. For instance, drugs used to control pain and inflammation in arthritis can often cause problems in the stomach. Since arthritis often responds to acupuncture, I would certainly start weaning him off of those drugs as soon as possible. On the other hand, many pets need to stay on their conventional medications. For instance, although an hyperthyroid cat could improve his health with acupuncture, herbs and dietary management, he would still need to remain on methimazole. Each pet is considered on a case by case basis.
Q: Why does the intake form include questions about my pet’s personality, food preferences etc.?
A: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine individual pets are born with a certain constitution which determines their physical strengths and vulnerabilities. Information about your pet’s character traits and preferences can inform me about her constitution and aid in diagnosis and treatment. Additionally health can be influenced by food, environment and emotions.
Q: Is acupuncture appropriate for every illness?
A: No — some illnesses are better treated with conventional medicine. Every pet must be thoroughly evaluated with physical exam and diagnostics to choose the best treatment. For instance some dogs with back pain may need surgery while others do great with acupuncture.
Q: Can you treat a porcupine with acupuncture?
A: I never have but am willing to try.
Admission: this is not a frequently asked question.